Friday, 9 December 2011

Ann Aguirre Sirantha Jax Novels

Hello Fran here! Just wanted to say… Yay for our new blog sorry I'm a little late jumping into it!

I been disappointed and a little off in my reading in the last couple years; I just hate reading cookie cutter books and that’s all I was seeing. If you are an avid reader you know how it feels to NOT read…. It was driving me bananas! But I refused to let my addiction make me spend money on something I was just going to kick myself for later, there is nothing like feeling like you wasted your money. One day last year I decided I had enough; I was ready to start reading again.

My plan was to start in the A and make my way to Z, taking names down and seeing if I could find reviews online before spending the money. I don’t remember how many names I wrote down, I know it was a few, and one name came out as the winner: Ann Aguirre

Be aware that I am reviewing the entire series here and it’s bound to have spoilers so don’t blame me later. You were warned. ;)


Grimspace Sirantha Jax, Book 1


Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher: Ace
Date: March 2008
Pages: 311
Genre: Sci-fi
Source: Paper Back
Reviewed by: Fran

Amazon Description


As the carrier of a rare gene, Sirantha Jax has the ability to jump ships through grimspace-a talent which makes her a highly prized navigator for the Corp. Then a crash landing kills everyone on board, leaving Jax in a jail cell with no memory of the crash. But her fun's not over. A group of rogue fighters frees her...for a price: her help in overthrowing the established order.

Aguirre did not waste time introducing you to the world in the first book, so what if the reader had no idea what she was talking about? I guess she figured we would either catch on or at least use our imagination in filling in the blanks… which I did eventually.

We start with a promising typical hero; self assured and arrogant and the heroine seemed genuinely distressed and in shock (a damsel in distress?) Oh-oh! Cookie cutter alert!

I got to say that in the first book the heroine, Sarantha Jax, seemed pretty well developed but with enough room for future growth and the hero, March, well on his way into going down into history as yet another romance hero. The book itself was not bad, it was actually promising. There was enough conflict between the two that made their relationship something I could deal with, and there was also a good amount of action that kept the book moving and the plot developing. It was enough for me to go and buy the next book.

Wanderlust Sirantha Jax, Book 2


Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher: Ace
Date: August 2008
Pages: 312
Genre: Sci-fi
Source: Paper Back
Reviewed by: Fran

 
 Amazon Description

Broke and unemployed, “Jumper” Sirantha Jax accepts a diplomatic mission for the government— only to find herself up against Syndicate criminals, man-eating aliens, and her own grimspaceweakened body.


I’m not sure if it was suppose to have been a single book that ended up a series, but in any case I was disapointed.
Wanderlust lacked structure and the depth of characters that was good and promising started to disappear and if it wasn’t for Valith Il-Nok, aka Vel, an Ichitorian (a human sized mantis like alien), I would have stopped right there and then but Vel caught my attention. From the first book where he shows up, more or less hunting our main character, he just seemed so much more then just a “bug” out to get Jax; In the end he was  only reason for reading the books.

At the end of Wanderlust, I strongly disliked the hero and heroine’s relationship, and the fact that they wanted to push down my throat their oh-so-awesome chemistry was ridiculous! I have to tell you that I skipped countless pages where the hero showed up and interacted with Jax, or more or less had sex and/or whined about everything.
I always laugh when I see a mind reader hero. Aren’t they the perfect women’s wet dream? I hear they make perfect bed partner (lol) but whether they make good life partners is a better question. Do you really want him to know EVERYTHING you are thinking about 24/7?

Remember I hate cliché and that’s exactly what their relationship was to me: cliché.

But Vel was in there somewhere so I had to keep reading, or more like skipping and then… it happened! A whole entire book in Vel’s world!
 Doubleblind Sirantha Jax, Book 3


Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher: Ace
Date: October 2009
Pages: 310
Genre: Sci-fi
Source: Paper Back
Reviewed by: Fran
Amazon Description
As a "Jumper" who navigates ships through grimspace, Sirantha Jax is used to kicking ass. So why is she suddenly chosen as an ambassador of peace?

 
Something was bound to happen between Jax and Vel, there were little signs all over the place but you weren’t sure until this book came out. In Doubleblind he was no longer an acquaintance and ally but an established friend and confidante.

There was just one problem: the “love of her life” was still there alive and more or less healthy. J

A lot happened in this book and I believe to be the best of the series, no I'm not being biased; It had a compeling story, it had a plot and March was barely in it! In Doubleblind Aguirre takes us into Ichitorian territory with its traditions and laws in a very female dominated world. We also learn with Jax the meaning of a simple bow, or wa, the most touching and most original piece of this series to me.
Fast forwarding after my favorite book of the series was over another book came and went.
 Killbox Jax, Book 4


Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher: Ace
Date: September 2010
Pages: 312
Genre: Sci-fi

Source: Paper Back
Reviewed by: Fran
Amazon Description

Navigational grimspace "jumper" Sirantha Jax forms an army to defend colonists stationed on the outskirts of space from a legion of flesh- eating aliens.

In one word it was blah.

Even though there were a lot of “world shaking” events it was still not good enough for me. There were some good parts, I even teared up in one scene. But Vel was barely in it, I couldn’t understand why Aguirre would send him off somewhere. I logically know that it was part of the plot to make Jax realize her feelings, and start the set up for the last book but still! That gave too many pages for the so called hero, who now is giving the “let’s separate work and love” speech! 
Vel was in a couple pages and they were awesome! We see their realtionship really come forward and I wasn't EXTREMELY unhappy with this book because of those couple pages.

The fact that Aguirre kept giving you screaming signs about the relationship between Vel and Jax got me thinking: Just how brave is she going to be? Would she have the balls to actually have a human/alien relationship or would she going to succumb to whatever kept pushing her to keep the “hero” in the story?

I found out a couple months ago when the last book of the series came out.

 
Aftermath (Sirantha Jax)


Author: Ann Aguirre
Publisher: Ace
Date: September 2011
Pages: 307
Genre: Sci-fi
Source: Paper Back
Reviewed by: Fran

Amazon Description
During the war against murderous, flesh-eating aliens, grimspace jumper" Sirantha Jax decided to go it alone. The cost of her actions: the destruction of modern interstellar travel-and the lives of six hundred Conglomerate soldiers. Now she's on trial fro dereliction of duty, desertion, mass murder, high treason...and her life.


To tell the truth I got it when it came out but I did not read it immediately; I was afraid and was preparing myself for the worst cookie cutter ending in history, but what I got actually surprised me.

There was a huge caution sign all over the place in the book; you could tell just how un-comfortable Aguirre was with the realization of what Jax wanted. There was a weird and random time skip, but I guess Aguirre needed to show you how everyone dealt with stuff and were “happy”. 

In truth it was not a masterpiece; it was actually kind of boring. The hero was still stuck and never changing, but Jax actually seemed to grow or at least confront things head on.

Yay for character growth at the end of the series!

And as my friend and co-blogger calls them: Yay for the OTHER guy!! The ending was not perfect but it was a good compromise and my dear Vel was happy. If he is happy then I am satisfied. :)


I give this series a 6 out 10.  




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